What is Geo-Spoofing – The Ultimate Guide (Updated 2019)
Getting a blocked content message is such a frustrating experience. Luckily, there is a simple solution that will let you access all your favorite content, wherever you are.
Read on to find out why you’re being locked out and how you can easily get past these geoblocks and back to watching your favorite shows with geo-spoofing.
What is Geoblocked Content?
Lots of websites place geographic restrictions on their services.
Most popular streaming websites restrict or change the content that is available to you based on the country you are located in, usually because of differences in international streaming rights.
Since IP addresses are assigned regionally, the websites that you visit can easily figure out where you are located just based on your IP address.
Websites that place geo-restrictions on content will block access to any request sent by a device outside of the region of service. This is why you can’t access the US Netflix catalog when you’re out of the country, for example.
Depending on where you are located, you might also be dealing with blocked content because of government censorship. One of the most infamous examples of this is China. You won’t be making a Google search or making a Facebook post anytime soon in China without geo-spoofing.
A number of governments restrict access to certain kinds of content in less obvious ways inside their borders, whether you are aware it is happening or not.
If you are spending time in a country that restricts freedom of speech or allows censorship in any form, the only way to be sure that you can freely view everything online is with geo-spoofing.
What is Geo-Spoofing?
Geo-spoofing simply means hiding your true location and making your device look like it is somewhere else. On the surface, it isn’t very complicated. All you have to do is change your IP address.
However, to change your IP address you are going to need some help from a server that is in your desired location.
There are two main ways to do this. The first is with a proxy, which simply acts as a middleman and channels your traffic through a server in a remote location.
The second (and best) way is with a VPN. Like a proxy, a VPN will make it look like your traffic is coming from a different location with a new IP address.
However, there are differences between VPNs and proxies. Unlike a proxy, a VPN will also keep your connection safe by encrypting your traffic and directing it through a safe tunnel, which means that no one can spy on your activity or steal your information while you browse.
This becomes especially important when you are traveling and connecting to unsecured public wifi networks.
Another benefit of using a VPN is that they can protect and geo-spoof your entire device, not just activity on a single browser or application.
Advantages of Geo-Spoofing
Geo-spoofing can give you access to your favorite geo-restricted content regardless of your location, but that’s not the only advantage to changing your IP address.
One big reason that you might want to geo-spoof your device is to protect your privacy. Your IP address gives away your exact location to any website that you visit, which makes it easy for you to be tracked.
Changing your IP address can make it difficult for search engines and advertisers to keep track of your activity and target you with personalized search results and ads.
You also might want to geo-spoof to escape government surveillance. It’s not only authoritative regimes that spy on residents’ internet activity. If you value your online privacy, you will want to avoid exposing your online activity to countries in the 5/9/14-eyes alliance.
By using a VPN for geo-spoofing, you will also get the benefit of encrypting your traffic, along with other security features like a kill switch and malware protection.
Some of the top VPN providers offer features like adblocking and advanced security protocols to protect you from advanced tracking methods.
You might even experience improved speeds when geo-spoofing with a VPN. Your internet service provider (ISP) may not always direct your traffic through the most efficient route possible.
Not only that, but during periods of high traffic, your ISP may actually intentionally limit certain kinds of traffic like streaming or downloading large files.
Since a VPN will encrypt your traffic, your ISP won’t be able to figure out what you’re doing in order to place a throttle on your high-bandwidth activities.
Disadvantages of Geo-Spoofing: DNS Poisoning
VPNs employ measures to keep your data secure, but you may still experience a domain name system (DNS) server leak.
DNS servers translate the web address you type into your search bar to a numerical IP address. Your browser redirects to this IP address, connecting you to your target website. However, if your DNS is “poisoned,” you are redirected to a fraudulent IP address. This can compromise your security, for example by tricking you into entering personal information.
Most DNS servers are provided by your ISP. Once the ISP records a fraudulent IP address in its cache, it can easily affect other users connected to the same DNS server. The fraudulent IP can spread malware or place unnecessary restrictions on your internet access.
However, VPNs use their own DNS servers. This protects you against DNS poisoning as your traffic bypasses your ISP and any infected public DNS servers.
DNS poisoning is different from DNS leaks. This happens when an unsecured VPN accidentally reports your location and browsing data to your ISP. This is problematic if you’re geo-spoofing to bypass censorship.
How to Change Your Location with a VPN:
By far the easiest way to geo-spoof is to change your IP address using a VPN. Most VPN providers make it incredibly simple to change your location at will.
Some providers even have a feature that will automatically choose a location for you to give you access to geo-restricted content. An example of this is NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature.
Changing your location with a VPN can be done in a few quick steps:
- Choose a VPN service. Make sure the VPN you choose has servers to connect to in your desired location. Also keep in mind that Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming websites are getting better at detecting when you are using a VPN or proxy service. If your goal is to get past geoblocks, make sure to choose a powerful VPN that is able to successfully bypass the toughest geo-restrictions. We recommend ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.
- Follow the VPN provider’s directions to download and install the VPN on your device or browser. Most providers have detailed guides that walk you through the installation process depending on your device. In most cases it should be very simple.
- Select your location and wait for your VPN to connect you. That’s it! You’re all done. Pretty easy, right?
Geo-spoofing is more complicated than it used to be thanks to websites and government agencies getting more advanced with their geoblocking technology.
In the case of government censorship, you might not even realize your content is being restricted in subtle ways.
The good news is that the best VPNs are always one step ahead of the latest geo-restrictions. Since VPNs do all the hard work for you, you can change your virtual location with just a click of a button.
We’re constantly updating our expert reviews and list of top VPNs to let you know which VPNs can successfully bypass the latest geoblocks while protecting your privacy and security wherever you are.